Mash Up Soundsystem: A Great Escape From Lunacy
Hive Records

Pneumatic Detach: [re·vis·cer·a]
Hive Records

Mash Up Soundsystem's full-length debut mixes slaughterhouse electronix by underground beat wreckers like Concrete Cookie, Depth Error, and Maggot Farmer into a mutant hour-long set of techno-hip hop-breakcore ferocity. Strap yourself down for the chainsaw beats of “Reload,” the decimating roar of “Plastic Bag,” and twenty-one other tracks of noise-punk madness, ghoulish voices, and throbbing breaks.

Retrigger contributes warped Mexican glitch (“Mete Bronco No couro do Cabrito”) and arcade collage insanity (“TMNT vs the Sunset Riders”) but, based on the evidence of industrial dance burners like “Shut Up [PMF]” and jittery electro-pop like “Northern Lights,” it's Concrete Cookie's star that burns brightest. Though the proudly over-the-top and brazenly politically incorrect (“Cocaine”) mix careens over the cliff in “Everybody Dance!” the album's nadir arrives with Maggot Farmer's merciless grinder “Domestic Violence,” its screeching howl about as calming as its title suggests. A Great Escape From Lunacy? More like an immolating plunge into it.

A fine if punishing companion to last year's Pneumatic Detach vis·cer·a disc, [re·vis·cer·a] groups fourteen decapitating remixes into a harrowing 73-minute, 'hard electronic' travelogue. While the intensity never wanes for a moment, don't think there isn't music buried under the cuts' wrist-slitting atmospheres and meat-cleaver beats. Peel away the thick cover of Exclipsect's writhing hailstorm, for example, and punchy electro-beats stream purposefully beneath.

Vers's “Sona” throbs with a blistered snarl, but it's actually an accessible entry point compared to the deathcore from Manufactura that drops minutes later. Throughout the disc's twisted voodoo breakcore, synths buzz like seething hornets, machine rhythms clang, and sirens howl but not everything sounds so terrifying. In another context, slamming cuts by Scrape|dx| and Displacer might sound bruising but, next to seething stompers like Grenadier's crushing 'arrhythmia' mix and Retnah's pummeling drum & bass, they're almost—almost!—'easy-listening.' Also featuring tracks by Terrorfakt, Andraculoid, Censor, Raxyor, and others, [re·vis·cer·a] comes almost guaranteed to induce heart failure.

April 2006